There was a time, not too terribly long ago, that online shoppers were a special breed of person who couldn’t be bothered with the mundane chores of going to the store or, perhaps, someone whose tastes weren’t easily satisfied with the assortment of products that could be found locally. While still a haven for the hard to please, internet shopping has become mainstream. There are very few among us these days that don’t segment some of our shopping online.
Shopping for online pet supplies may not be the first topic that comes to mind when thinking of browsing the net, but many of the same reasons that make shopping for books, music or fragrances online apply for pet supplies as well. Here are some of our favorite reasons:
Convenience – The internet never closes and your busy schedule may not mesh well with that of local stores. Hop onto your favorite Online Pet Supplies site and in moments you can search for the products you need, place your order and carry on with the rest of your day … or night. You won’t have to make a special trip to the pet store or make a point of picking up often bulky pet supplies while shopping for groceries, shampoo or school supplies.
You can also shop at your own pace, browsing when you like or going directly to your destination when time is tight. And if you often shop with the kids in tow, you know that a little quiet time with just you and your computer can be a lot more efficient way of making the selections you want without a lot of unsolicited advice.
A common feature of Online Pet Supplies stores that can save lots of time and prevent running out of essentials is the ability to create recurring orders. Some services even provide discounted pricing if you choose this option. You simply set up a schedule that fits your needs to have items that you order routinely delivered automatically. No more running out of your pet’s requirements and having to make unscheduled shopping trips.
Selection – Online shopping is unmatched for selection. Sure you can buy dog and cat food in lots of places: grocery stores, mega-stores, warehouse stores, and of course, pet stores. Though these locations seemingly have a vast array of pet products, closer examination usually reveals that they stock vast quantities of a very few products. You may find the most common dog and cat foods stacked to the rafters, but with the exception of those few, selection is very narrow. And selection is terrific for dog and cat food compared what is available for birds, fish, reptiles and the vast variety of other small pets.
And food is just the starting point. Try finding anything but the most basic of other pet care products in most stores and you’ll walk away disappointed. Grooming supplies, bedding, nutritional supplements and toys are just the beginning of what most pet owners need and selection of these products are very sparse except at some pet specialty stores. While pet specialty stores certainly offer broad selections compared to general merchandise retailers, even they pale when compared to the variety available at Online Pet Supplies stores. After all, when you’re dealing with the online vendor, you’re often in reality dealing directly with the warehouse that supplies all of those retail stores. It just makes sense that they’ll have the broadest selection by far.
Information – Online Pet Supplies sites are almost without exception, great sources of information about our pets. The typical Online Pet Supplies site includes a formidable set of articles related to pet supplies, often with accompanying photos or videos. Whether you’re a pet novice trying to select the best pet for your particular situation or you’re an expert looking for specific breed show judging standards, you’ll find invaluable information literally at your fingertips.
Each Online Pet Supplies site seems to have its own character. Some have a seemingly endless selection of products for every imaginable pet. Others are more specialized but may fill just the niche you’re looking for. Here are some of the critical factors we considered when ranking Online Pet Supplies sites:
The first thing you need to know about an Online Pet Supplies store is if they carry merchandise that suits your pet. That may seem obvious but no sites support all pets and some sites are limited to a very few. While dogs and cats make up the majority of pets in the U.S., a site that has lots of great cat beds is of little value to you if you’re trying to find aquatic plants for your Koi pond.
We rated the variety of pet products that were available at the various sites and also the ease of finding the particular products that you’re looking for. Many of the sites in this review have thousands of line items and but if it’s difficult to find what you need, the vast inventory goes untapped.
There’s simply no excuse in a competitive market for not offering great customer service. We’ve taken a careful look at the various ways that the individual sites extend service to their customers and we’ve been particularly critical of sites that fall short of the mark.
We all know that identity theft and online fraud can be among the most devastating of crimes from which to recover. Online shopping needn’t be risky and we’ve evaluated each of the sites in this review for standards that keep your private information safe.
We invite you to take a look at the reviews of individual online pet supplies sites and compare our findings with your individual needs. Then explore the sites, enjoy the information they present and maybe do a little shopping. You and your pet are likely to find just what you’re looking for. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™
TopTenREVIEWS no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in February 2012.
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